With its rich history that spans more than 100 years, Major League Baseball has many records that are truly remarkable given the more than 19,000 people who have played the game. Some of the top MLB records for a career include highest batting average, most home runs, most hits, most wins, most saves, and most no-hitters.
When looking at top MLB records, it’s possible to look at team records, single-season, and single-game records. However, for this list, we focused on career records. The following offers more detail on 10 such records.
Top MLB Records for Hitting
These are five of the biggest career records in the history of MLB.
Highest Career Batting Average – Ty Cobb
Cobb hit .366 over his career. He also hit .320 or above in 20 consecutive seasons. That’s amazing in itself. But over his incredible career between 1905 and 1928, Cobb excelled in many categories. The records he held upon retirement include games played (3.035), at-bats (11,434), runs (2,246), hits(4,189) and stolen bases (892).
Most Career Hits – Pete Rose
Rose collected 4,256 hits during his remarkable career. Cobb is in second place. Rose and Cobb are the only two players in baseball history to have more than 4,000 hits. Hank Aaron is in third with 3,771.
Most Career Home Runs – Barry Bonds
This is considered by many as the biggest record in baseball. Babe Ruth, who retired in 1935, held the record for decades with 714. Hank Aaron surpassed him on April 8, 1974, hitting No. 715 off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing. He retired with 755. Bonds broke that record on Aug. 7, 2007, and ended up with 762 for his career.
Most Career Runs Batted In – Hank Aaron
Aaron still retains the highest mark for RBI, with 2,297.
Most Career Steals – Rickey Henderson
Henderson had an astounding 1,406 steals over his career, which lasted from 1979 to 2003. Remarkably, he is the only player to ever reach 1,000 steals in his career, earning him the nickname “Man of Steal.”
Top MLB Records for Pitching
These are some of the biggest career pitching records in MLB history.
Most Career Wins – Cy Young
Young, who played from 1890 to 1911, won 511 games during his career. He also pitched 749 complete games. Both are among the baseball records that will likely never get broken.
Most Career No-Hitters – Nolan Ryan
Ryan was fierce on the mound, throwing a blazing fastball that he mixed with a wicked curveball that left hitters baffled. He pitched seven no-hitters during his career, which is three more than any other pitcher. He also pitched 12 one-hitters (he’s tied for first in that category with Bob Feller).
Most Career Hit Batsmen – Guy Weyhing
All right, this is perhaps not one of the “top” records, but it’s interesting, nonetheless. Weyhing, who pitched for nine different teams between 1887 and 1901, hit 277 batsmen during his career. That’s the record. To be fair, he was a good pitcher, winning 32 games for Philadelphia in 1892.
Most Career Saves – Mariano Rivera
Rivera saved 652 games, all of them for the New York Yankees. He is considered one of the key ingredients for the Yankees championship runs in the 1990s and 2000s. Trevor Hoffman is second at 601.
Most Career Strikeouts – Nolan Ryan
Ryan struck out 5,714 batters during his career. That’s far ahead of second-place Randy Johnson, who struck out 4,875. Ryan struck out more than 300 batters in six different seasons. That includes the 301 he struck out in 1989 when he was 42 years old.
Those are some of the top MLB records for careers. When a game has the long history that baseball enjoys, these milestones take on even more significance.